Sunday, 10 February 2013

Lanzo: 'Suspension of Conciousness' Review

A very satisfying debut EP by a skilled beatmaker who knows his own strengths.

TNBM favourite Lanzo kicks off his first EP in fine form with 'Snack Bags'.  As noted elsewhere, I like the tension of the intro and outro, the perfectly placed vocal snatches, the simple but hypnotic bass notes and I think that the lightly plucked strings are a lovely little detail.   This is an instantly likeable track.

The mood for the rest of the EP is really set on ‘PEA SOUP GARDEN’The melodic keys are offset by disturbing cartoon dialogue.  Reminiscent of 'MM...FOOD', this is a great example of Lanzo making beats with lots going on, but minus clutter. This smells like a winner to me.    

The smooth-yet-sleazy synths on 'TUMs' had me hitting repeat. It's very easy to get lost in this chilled-out track.  Here, the Chicago beatmaker pulls off another difficult balancing act: whilst some beatmakers try too many ideas at once, or get stuck on one good idea,  Lanzo’s sense of composition and movement finds a satisfying compromise between the two extremes. 

‘P.West ORCH’ is a black and white musical score chopped into easily digestible pieces, pushed along with a nice diddy-bop of a beat.  There's maybe less going on here than the previous tracks, but it's more accessible and equally as dope.

‘Every Life Comes with a Death Sentence’ warns a disembodied voice on
'MYTERMS’ in contrast to the cheery sentiment of the words heard on 'TUMs'. This is a bit of a bad trip on wax.  

Balancing the darkness of 'MYTERMS', ‘Relax and Max’ has some more nice, airy keys and on beat / off beat drums providing a welcome little bit of push-and-pull. 

‘VooDoo Potion #10’ Has some great Blaxploitation and kung fu samples, but it's the fantastically placed choir vocals which makes this track beg for a replay due to how they’re rationed out.  This beatmaker knows not to ruin the moment of brilliance by running it into the ground. That snare is mean, too. 
‘VooDoo Potion #10’ is a great way to end the EP.

'Balance' is the keyword of this EP: 'Suspension of Consciousness' can be both meditative and unnerving, detailed but not overcooked, but whatever the mood, it's a success.

Lanzo should be proud of himself. 



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